This week, we’ve been kicking back with our pals at HiyaCar and finding out a little more about their car-sharing platform.
Where did the idea for HiyaCar come from?
While Graeme, our founder and CEO was working as an analyst in the City, he dedicated his weekends to creating the foundations of a service that would let people make money from their cars. His wife Jodi had deep knowledge of the insurance industry and this helped him formulate a scalable business model to attract the insurers necessary to enable people to share cars in their local community.
How does HiyaCar work, and how is it different from a traditional hire car company?
HiyaCar is a UK based peer to peer car hire platform that allows car owners to make money renting their cars to a vetted community of drivers. Like an “Airbnb for cars”, HiyaCar is part of the sharing economy, enabling cars that are unused on average 95% of the time to be available for hire.
Approved drivers can search for and request cars; when the owner accepts the request, the driver just needs to collect the car. The hire is covered by insurance from AXA and roadside assistance from the AA so that the owner’s insurance and peace of mind is protected. HiyaCar provides support and security for all parties and shares the funds from the driver with the owner and AXA. So compared to a traditional hire car company, it is cheaper (with no surprises), often closer, allows you to pick a specific car and, if you are using a keyless enabled car, you don’t need to meet anyone. Compared to a car club, it is significantly cheaper, has no membership fees, a wider choice of cars, and can be closer.
Does it cost money to hire out your car?
Owners can list their cars for free on the platform and using a sharing economy model, they can decide when to make their car available for hire and set own price. HiyaCar charges a service fee between 20% and 30% when the booking is completed.
How does insurance work with peer-to-peer car rental?
HiyaCar has a unique, comprehensive, insurance policy with AXA that completely supersedes the owner’s policy for the duration of the hire. In the rare event that the vehicle is damaged and the driver is at fault, the driver pays an excess and HiyaCar and AXA will cover the rest of the costs. In all cases the owner’s insurance is not impacted.
How many people in the UK share cars – and does it tend to happen on a regular or one-off basis?
“Corporate” car sharing clubs such as ZipCar and Enterprise have become well established over the last ten years and have more than 150k members in the UK. Peer to peer in the UK is at a much earlier stage but is catching up fast with countries like the US, France and Germany where peer to peer hiring is well established. Usage patterns vary: corporate car sharers use a car for around a day a month, while the majority of our drivers have already booked more than once with a significant number booking monthly.
Does this work best for people who live in big cities?
Although peer to peer is currently concentrated in large cities, there is no reason why the benefits cannot also be realised in small cities and rural areas. We are working with a number of partners to find the best ways of bringing the benefits of peer to peer car hire to everybody.
How can people get involved?
They can go to hiycar.co.uk and sign up for free as a driver or owner. Use the code HIYALAMA to get £20 off a first booking over £30 or £30 extra for owners when they complete their first hire out. Also, join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for lots of fun content and advice.